By Nick Sibilla
Amid relentless partisan bickering, it can be downright surprising when Members of Congress actually agree on a major policy reform. Multiple bills currently pending on the Hill would defund or eliminate many federal civil forfeiture programs. This notorious power enables law enforcement to permanently confiscate cash, cars, real estate and other valuable property without ever charging the owner with a crime. In a Kafkaesque twist, the property is the defendant in civil forfeiture cases, while owners must prove their innocence to recover what was taken.
On Wednesday, Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) re-introduced HR 4816, the “Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act.” As its name suggests, the bill would ban the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from using any federal forfeiture funds to support its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.
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